Concurrent mapping of brain activation from multiple subjects during social interaction by hyperscanning: a mini-review

Meng-Yun Wang, Ping Luan, Juan Zhang, Yu-Tao Xiang, Haijing Niu, Zhen Yuan


Social interaction plays an essential role in acquiring knowledge and developing our own personalities in our daily life. Meanwhile, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-, electroencephalograph (EEG)-, and functional near inferred spectroscopy (fNIRS)-hyperscanning, enables us to concurrently map brain activation from two or more participants who are engaged in social interaction simultaneously. In this review, we first highlight the recent technologies advances and the most significant findings towards social interaction by using the hyperscanning method. In addition, we also illustrate several well-designed hyperscanning tasks that have been extensively adopted for the study of social interaction. Basically, hyperscanning contains six categories of experimental paradigms that can track the interactive neural process of interest. Furthermore, it contains two main elucidated neural systems which are involved in social interaction, including the mirror neuron system (MNS) and mentalizing system (MS). Finally, future research directions and clinical implications that are associated with hyperscanning are also highlighted and discussed.